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| April 1, 2021, 2:08 CDT

How to Buy Your First Sex Toy

One of the easiest and safest ways to spice up your sex life is to explore the world of toys.

I think most people would agree that sex is pretty great, with or without a partner. But admit it, there are times when even the best sex can start to feel repetitive—dare I say, even mundane. There is, of course, a simple solution: open up your relationship to the wonderful world of sex toys.

But given the many options and designs, choosing a sex toy, especially for the first time, can feel overwhelming. To help you through the process, we have a six-step guide that will demystify sex toys and make sure your first erotic toy purchase is a success.

Step 1: What gets you off?

To begin, let’s be clear that toys are ideal for any sexual situation and they’re for everyone: men, women, gay, straight, solo practitioners, group efforts and more. And I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you, but they’re made in shapes and configurations that stimulate, infiltrate and titillate every inch of your body. To name but a few: vibrators, clit suction toys, anal beads, dildos, butt plugs, cock rings, and glass and metal wands.

You first have to decide what kind of play you’re looking for. Maybe you’ve always wanted to smear edible raspberry lotion all over yourself and have your partner lick it off. Perhaps you’re curious about bondage and might like to purchase police-issue handcuffs or some soft silken ties. Or maybe you simply want to start by finding the perfect vibrator. The only limit is your imagination.

Step 2: Identify a reputable company

A lot of companies sell sex toys. Do some research and select a company that not only offers the items you’re looking for at a price point you think is reasonable, but that also places emphasis on safe, high-quality materials.

In years past, adventurous pleasure-seekers had to pull on an overcoat and sneak into their local adult bookstore and hope they didn’t bump into a neighbor on the way out. But this is the 21st century, and sneaky outerwear is no longer necessary, especially when you’re ordering online. There are numerous companies to choose from that will deliver your new toy, often in a discrete package, right to your door.

Step 3: Select a sex toy that’s safe

When browsing products on a website, look for “body-safe” language that indicates the materials used are FDA-approved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate sex toys themselves, as they do not fall into the classification of being a medical device, but you can make sure the device of your dreams does not contain harmful materials. For example, avoid any toy made from jellies or phthalates.

Common body-safe materials include silicone, glass, hard metal and ABS plastic. Silicone is an especially great option, because it is simple to clean, hypoallergenic and nonporous—a hygienic and safe choice for a first-timer.

Step 4: Spoiled for choice

To tackle the wealth of products at your fingertips, consider starting your search by typing something basic, like “dildo” or “male masturbator.” Once you start clicking, check out the various styles, sizes, colors and price points. Especially read the customer reviews, which are even better if they’re from real people who’ve made a verified purchase.

My personal rule is to never purchase an item that doesn’t have reviews I trust. As well as feeling much more confident about your choice if others recommend it, you may also find that a particular recommendation tips you off to certain aspects of the product that make it more or less likely to be the perfect choice for you.

There’s no right or wrong sex toy, as long as it’s safe. This is a personal choice you’re making. Believe me, in this case, shopping is always fun!

Step 5: Final research before buying

Once you have selected a sex toy, you’ll want to do a little extra research, just to see if you need additional products. For example, if you’re buying something that penetrates, you’ll likely also want some water-based lube to use with it. Double check to see if your toy requires batteries. You don’t want to get all ready to play and discover your vibrator doesn't vibrate.

Once you’re sure you have everything, click that Confirm Purchase button. Congratulations. You’ve lost your sex toy virginity.

Step 6: Enjoy, enjoy some more and don’t forget to review

Play with your new toy, alone or with a partner. Preferably both. The more you use it, the more you’ll learn about what you like and what you don’t like, and that will help when you’re considering your next purchase.

Finally, remember what it was like when you had no clue how to find that perfect silicone friend? If you’re happy with your purchase and if the website allows, leave a review so other adventurous souls get the benefit of your experience. It’s fun to share.

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